Mary Jo Brown: Use words carefully, spread kindness

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Have you ever been on a roller-coaster ride? Although I always wanted to ride one when I went to Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver, it never happened. My mom told me I had to go on the less dangerous rides, such as the merry-go-round. I found other things to do also, like the boat rides and people watching or enjoying the scenery and just being there.

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Mary Jo Brown

As I grew older, my responsibilities at home increased and my visits to Lakeside declined. One day, my brother mentioned going to Lakeside, and I asked if I could go, too. He said I had to clear it with Mom, which I did, and we were off. Once there, I figured I would spend the day alone wandering the park and riding the boat ride. When I told my brother I was going to go ride the boats, he said he would go, too, and told me to stay put and he would be right back. He came back in a boat and told me to climb aboard, so I did; away we went in a speedboat! It was one of the best trips I had been on for a long time and a special memory of a wonderful day spent with my brother.

As we grew older, we moved apart, and although we don’t communicate often anymore, the love is still there, and whenever we meet, we both say, “I love you.” It is important for you to communicate in some way how much you care for someone. Don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to do this or to give someone a hug. The recent unpredictable events in my life really make me realize how important communication with those you care for is. It is uncertain what today will bring, and no one can predict the exact events of tomorrow. I have had my share of should have, could have, would haves in the past and have learned to live for now and consider what the results of my words and actions might be.

It all comes down to communication — not just talking but also listening to what is being said and what it really means. Sometimes, I have to really think of what I want to say so I will be understood. I tend to use words sometimes that are what I call dictionary words. Words seldom used in today’s slang and inappropriate grammar. Words should not be taken for granted, as they can cause damage as well as healing. Spoken in haste, anger or without thought, words can break hearts, destroy relationships and wound beyond repair a person’s self-esteem. Taking a second to think before we speak might make a lot of difference in how our message is received, as will the tone of voice in which it is spoken.

Use your words wisely, in kindness and with consideration for the person to whom you are speaking, and don’t be afraid to let them know you care. Have a great Valentine’s Day, and spread the kindness and goodwill it stands for.

Get well wishes to all those ailing and recovering and birthday wishes to Jaceson VanGrandt and Joe Zurita.

A noon potluck at Sunset Meadows I is Friday.

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